A ferry silly boy­cott

Mar­itime work­ers refuse to sail on ‘ridicu­lous’ new ves­sel

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - CLARISSA BYE

MAR­ITIME work­ers are re­fus­ing to man a new ferry with the “ridicu­lous” name of Ferry McFer­ry­face.

The name was cho­sen by pub­lic poll and Trans­port Min­is­ter Andrew Con­stance yes­ter­day branded the union work­ers as “a bunch of spoil­sports”.

Mar­itime Union of Aus­tralia Syd­ney branch as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Paul Gar­rett said ferry staff would boy­cott the new ves­sel, which is due to start ser­vice on Novem­ber 26, say­ing the name was an “in­sult” that will last for decades.

“Mem­bers don’t want to crew the ves­sel,” he said. “It’s an in­sult to the in­tegrity and her­itage of Syd­ney Fer­ries, it un­der­mines the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and pride of the fleet.

“This is not a five-minute in­ter­net sen­sa­tion — this name has to be around for 20, 30, 40 years. This ves­sel will be left along­side the wharf un­til fur­ther no­tice.”

Mr Gar­rett said mar­itime staff would only crew the ves­sel if it was re­named, say­ing: “Mem­bers will leave that ves­sel alone, we won’t work it. Give it a proper name and we’ll work it. Give it a stupid name and it can stay at the ship­yard.”

Trans­port for NSW re­ceived more than 15,000 sug­ges­tions in the Name Your Ferry com­pe­ti­tion.

Mr Con­stance de­fended the cho­sen name, ar­gu­ing “the com­mu­nity has spo­ken”.

“Syd­ney voted for this name, and we have lis­tened,” the min­is­ter said.

“The union are just a bunch of spoil­sports for thou­sands of kids look­ing to hop on board.”

Mr Con­stance de­clared that the union work­ers “don’t run this state” and crit­i­cised of­fi­cials for not rais­ing the is­sue with him ear­lier.

“They don’t get to bully me,” he said. “They could have come to me well be­fore now.”

Mr Gar­rett said about 350 mem­bers of the union work on the fer­ries and had al­ready fielded jokes from the pub­lic about the next ferry be­ing called “McNugget”.

“Our mem­bers have a sense of hu­mour but this is be­yond a joke. Fer­ries are named af­ter cer­tain ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tions or prom­i­nent peo­ple.”

While some had pointed to the UK ex­am­ple of a ves­sel be­ing named Boaty McBoat­face, he said in the end that name was not ac­cepted.

Artist im­pres­sion of the newly named Syd­ney ferry.

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